A study of psychiatric co-morbidity among alcohol dependents


  • Pankaj Kanwar Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Ravi C. Sharma Department of Psychiatry Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Dinesh D. Sharma Department of Psychiatry Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
  • Neeraj Kanwar Department of Psychiatry Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India




Alcohol dependence, Co-morbidity, Dual diagnosis, Substance abusing mentally ill


Background: The alcohol use disorders are frequently associated with other co-morbid psychiatric disorders. The aim of this study was to describe the demographic variables, drinking history and psychiatric co-morbidity in alcohol dependent subjects.

Methods: In this study, 40 consecutive patients were enrolled. After a minimum 1 month of sobriety, patients who fulfilled ICD-10 criteria of alcohol dependence were interviewed for data collection using Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), MINI-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) (Version-6.0) and a specially designed sociodemographic and clinical interview proforma. Subjects with substance use except tobacco were excluded from study. Main group comparison used chi-square test for categorical variables and the t-test for continuous variables.

Results: Most of the patients studied were >40 years of age. Majority were employed (92%), lived in nuclear families (78%) and came from rural background (77.5%). Forty five percent of the patients initiated alcohol drinking between 16-25 years and reported peer pressure (50%) as most significant factor responsible for initiation of drinking alcohol. Mean age of developing alcohol dependence was 25.12 years (SD=4.28). Mean AUDIT score for subjects was 27.7 (SD=4.73). Lifetime psychiatric co-morbid disorders were detected in 45%. Psychiatric disorders most frequently associated with alcohol dependence were major depressive disorder (10%), bipolar affective disorder (7.5%), dysthymia (5%), anxiety disorders (7.5%) and antisocial personality disorder (5%).

Conclusion: The study indicates that psychiatric disorders are prevalent in alcohol dependents and mood disorders are the most prevalent ones. It was also observed that co-morbid psychiatric disorders are associated with more severe alcohol problems.

Author Biographies

Pankaj Kanwar, Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, India

Senior Resident, Department of Psychiatry

Ravi C. Sharma, Department of Psychiatry Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Professor, Department of Psychiatry, IGMC, Shimla, HP

Dinesh D. Sharma, Department of Psychiatry Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, IGMC, Shimla, HP

Neeraj Kanwar, Department of Psychiatry Indira Gandhi Medical College Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Junior Resident, Department of Psychiatry, IGMC, Shimla, HP


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How to Cite

Kanwar, P., Sharma, R. C., Sharma, D. D., & Kanwar, N. (2017). A study of psychiatric co-morbidity among alcohol dependents. International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 5(10), 4490–4496. https://doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20174583



Original Research Articles